Photo courtesy of Dennis Pause. All rights reserved. Visit his Flickr page for some great photos.
The Athletic Tryout contract that exists in the American League is intended to bring in players that might be considered for future play within the organization, and give valuable ice time to those that are guaranteed that same future. It’s a time, typically in postseason play, where young players are given the opportunity to taste the pro ranks. Players that are finished with their junior or college seasons are eligible for these opportunities (with the latter becoming ineligible for return to the collegiate level). It’s a nice setup, but also one that is strangely awkward for teams that have a familiar core for nearly 80 games a season. Yet the clubs take it in stride and every now and again a diamond in the rough is spotted (Hunter Tremblay, who knew?).
The ATO parade has begun for most teams in the American League, but the Barons seem to be jumping into the fray as well. In a tweet discovered by good friend Scott from OilField Hockey, Mike Marcou, a smallish defenseman from the University of Massachusetts has likely signed an ATO with Oklahoma City.
— Scott@OFH (@ScottEOFH) March 27, 2012
Marcou is a Kings Park, New York kid that earned a mini camp tryout with the Islanders this past season. In addition to being a UMass defender, Marcou had a USHL career with the Waterloo Blackhawks where he appears to be a hard working, slowly improving defender, that overcomes a bit of a size issue with tons of heart.